Suber takes Phoenix to former school for payday

Andy Reed • Updated Sep 23, 2017 at 8:30 AM

College students going home for a weekend to replenish their money supply from parents is as big a tradition as homecoming and finals.

In this case, Cumberland coach Donnie Suber is taking his Phoenix team to one of his former employers to pick up a quick $50,000 for the program.

Suber spent five seasons as linebackers coach and then receivers coach at Presbyterian College, which will play host to the Phoenix at 6 p.m. CDT tonight in Clinton, S.C.

The Blue Hose beat Big South Conference rival Campbell 28-16 for their first win of the season last week after a 51-7 loss in their own money game at Wake Forest and a 48-7 setback to The Citadel.

Cumberland is 4-0. But the Phoenix are in the NAIA while Presbyterian is an NCAA FCS school coached by Suber’s old boss, Tommy Spangler.

“It’s like going home to me,” Suber said before Thursday’s practice. “They’ll be faster and bigger than anything we’ve seen. We’ll have to be prepared to give them a good battle.

“It’s a game I probably wish we would have played earlier in the year, which we usually do. But this was the only date they had open. It kind of stinks going into our side of the conference right after that, so we just got to hopefully stay healthy and play well, and you never know what could happen.”

Presbyterian runs a spread offense similar to Cumberland’s. The defense is also similar.

“All my (defense) comes from him anyway,” Suber said. “He does a lot more than we do, but he’e evolved over the years, too.”

While Suber is hoping the Phoenix come out of the game healthy, they’re not in great shape going in in a few positions. Senior center Chandler Peoples had a flare-up of an old torn labrum and his status is uncertain. His backup, Tyler Remington, has a deep bone bruise on his wrist.

On the defensive side, backup nickelback Pele McDaniels was to undergo surgery for a dislocated ankle Friday. Backup safety Terry Tiller still can’t run on a bad ankle.

“Right now I have three safeties and three corners going to the game,” Suber said. “And one nickel.”

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